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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    38

    Default Question for Scuba Divers

    We are going to CSA in October. We want to become certified to dive. Do we take classroom work and have to do a dive before becoming certified? If we do the classroom work before we go can we do the dive to complete it there? If so, how much does it cost and how long will that part take? I hope this makes sense!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    411

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    Hello Marhuck! We just returned from CN and I got my Openwater cert while there. It was a great experience and I'm so glad I did it. The dive guys are AMAZING!!! (Shoutouts to Richardo, Craig and Shrek!!!) Here was my experience.

    1. "Classroom" time. About 60 minutes or so next to the dive pool. (My hubby and I were the only ones in class, typically there are more people who are doing the resort dive. This made for an extra special experience because we got Richardo all to ourselves.)
    2. Pool time, practicing using the equipment and demonstrating basic skills.
    3. 2 shallow dives...all that same day.
    4. Still day 1, leave with a manual to read and complete and quizzes and tests. I took this all very seriously and got almost all of my reading and homework done. Completed the test the next morning.
    5. Day 2...2 more dives including your final checkout dive.
    6. Richardo scored my test (got a 98%...very disappointed it wasn't a 100%). They took all my information, took my photo and processed my PADI cert. Got a temporary card and my permanent card arrived at home in less than 1 week!
    7. Day 3...more dives all for fun!!!

    The only regret was not doing it sooner in the week because I only had one more day to dive before we left. I found that with every dive I got more and more comfortable. Can't wait to get back and do it again.

    I believe the whole thing was about $375. We had lots of resort credit which they did apply to the cert...I don't think that will be the case moving forward. Even without the credit, its a great deal. With such fabulous instructors, the warm clear Jamaican water it is a perfect place to learn!!!

    DO IT!!!!

    Cheers-
    Kristen

  3. #3

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    Most experienced divers suggest doing your classwork and poolwork at home at a local dive shop. You can also do the class work online at someone like PADI.com . then when you get to the resort you can do the rest of the pool work and the certification dives. That way you will have more time to do actual diving and more time to spend enjoying the resort.

  4. #4

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    Marhuck,
    First congrats on wanting to discover the underwater world. I dont know how long you are staying but to get certified took me about 4 days in April at CSS. If you are talking true certification or you can get resort certified but you only get 1 dive for free. If there is anything I can help with feel free to email me direct @ solidwastegod1@msn.com

    Todd & Linda
    CSS
    April 2008,March 2009,April 2010, Oct 2010, April 2011,April 2012,April 2013

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    239

    Default

    Check PADI.com or Google SCUBA certification to get a feel for the requirements. Also try searching "scuba" or "diving" on this message board as there have been a few other posts related to this question.

    I completed my training prior to going to Couples in two separate weekends -- one with classroom and pool skill dives, and the second weekend with four open water dives (two each day).

    Three options:
    1. Do classroom work (with pool dives) AND four open water dives before trip
    2. Do classroom work (with pool dives) before your trip and do the four open water dives at Couples
    3. Do both classroom work and open water dives at Couples

    There are advantages and disadvantages to each as I see it. The first option allows you to take full advantage of certified dives while at Couples and is probably the least expensive (around $300 or so). I also think that this allows you to enjoy the week at Couples more (no reading homework!) and I think its probably better to do the training before the trip to let it sink in if you know what I mean. Being from Wisconsin, this meant dropping into a quarry that is 40 degrees cooler than the Caribbean, but hey, made me appreciate the trip more! I would recommend this approach.

    The second option is probably the most expensive and is recommend if you don't have the time or absolutely do not want to do any open water dives before your trip. The crew at CSA is wonderful (we were there last August) and will take good care of you. This will be a bit more expensive as you will pay a shop for the classroom work and then pay Couples for the open water skill dives (guessing total is $350 to $400).

    The third option probably costs about the same as certification at home (a bit more maybe?) and the crew at CSA will do a great job at it I'm sure. The downside is having to do reading homework, some tests, skills work in the pool (I assume), and missing out on time you could do the regular certified dives....basically taking vacation time away. Of course this can be done in a week and won't be too horrible.

    Hope this helps. Reply with any questions and I'll try to answer.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    1,032

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    I really prefer doing everything at the resort. Not only are the people teaching you more fun to hang out with anyway, but the water is warm and you are outside the whole time. The book work doesn't take long and it is fun doing it on the beach. We are on Advanced Open Water now and wouldn't do it any other way. Every time we go back we work on the next level and spend a lot of time diving.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    205

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    Best to do the class room work on line then you don't waste valuable resort time with your face in a book!

  8. #8

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    Marhuck- we did our cert. @ CN a few years ago. Depending on where you live, it can save you a small fortune. It would have been about a grand apiece for hubby and I to get certified here in GA vs 375 per person at CN. Plus the dive masters are diving every day vs. an instructor who goes out every now and then. The water is also warmer, and better visibility than back in the states. Class time is insignificant. Reading and testing only took a few hours and we were completely certified (and comfortable) by day 2, lunchtime.
    Jamie & David
    CN 11/2005 & 10/2008 & 11/2011
    CSS 9/2007, 9/2009, 9/2010, 11/2011, 9/2012, 9/2013
    CTI 9/2013

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    1,032

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by calgontakemeaway View Post
    Marhuck- we did our cert. @ CN a few years ago. Depending on where you live, it can save you a small fortune. It would have been about a grand apiece for hubby and I to get certified here in GA vs 375 per person at CN. Plus the dive masters are diving every day vs. an instructor who goes out every now and then. The water is also warmer, and better visibility than back in the states. Class time is insignificant. Reading and testing only took a few hours and we were completely certified (and comfortable) by day 2, lunchtime.
    Same here. To do the book and pool work here was going to be a lot more expensive and much more time consuming and inconvenient since it was stretched out into a bunch of 45 min classes rather than doing it all at once over a couple of days.

  10. #10

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    I just got open water certified at CSS in June. I went to the dive shop on Sunday when we arrived and signed up. Philip gave me the book and wanted me to read chapters 1-3 and do the review at the end by Monday morning. I did spend the rest of the day with my nose in the book. The next day we did the quizzes for 1-3 in the morning followed by one session of pool work and the first open water dive. Phillip did originally say that we could do 2 dives on Monday and 2 dives on Tuesday and be done...however, I was not the model student in the pool so he wanted to take extra time. I did 2 more chapters and the final book tests on Wednesday along with pool work and 2 dives...then final pool work and final dive on Thursday.
    My suggestion, do both at the resorts...it's nice to have the book work reinforced by pool and dive work right after. It cost $375.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    166

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    We did ours at the resort. In addition to the reasons everyone else has mentioned, another issue for me was time to commute from work to the dive shop, then commute to the pool that the dive shop used since they didn't have one on-site.

    Also -- if you are planning on doing everything at CSA, it would be a good time-saver in advance to check out the PADI website to review the medical questionnaire. If you have ANY conditions which would require a YES answer, go to your doctor before your trip to get medical clearance. Otherwise you will have to visit a JA doctor for a fee and might face the "no diving for you" issue, which would be a major bummer.

    There should be some other threads on this subject elsewhere on the MB.

    You will LOVE DIVING!!!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    38

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    Thanks so much for the responses everyone. I think we are going to do the classroom stuff online and do our diving part at the resort! I can't wait!!!!

  13. #13

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    Marhuk,

    That is exactly what I did! Classroom part online and finished up at CSA. I recommend doing it that way! I got my Open Water Certification in July 2008 and my Advanced Open Water Certification(also at CSA) in April 2011. You will love diving!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    40

    Default Cost for open dives

    How much does it cost for open dives. I thought diving was no cost. I have completed my testing and pool skills. Am I looking at another 375.00. Please let me know

  15. #15

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    My understanding is that diving is included for those with C cards. For the non-certified, I believe that the resort "quicky" course is included along with one dive, with additional dives for non-certified divers costing $50 each.

    As for completing your open water certification check out dives at the resort...don't know what they're going to charge for that. On the other hand, the price you paid for your certification -- the pool and classroom sessions -- should include the cost of your check out dives.

    Me? I'd go ahead and complete my check out dives and get the open water certification before my vacation. That's just my preference though -- as I prefer to spend my vacation time...ummm...vacationing.

    Perhaps someone from the Couples water sports department could speak to how much your check out dives will cost.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    469

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    The price for completeing the certification is the same at the resort as you would be charged at home. However if you must rent equipment and pay trespass fees at dive sites is where you save big time. I had resort credits that paid for my certification at CN with Richard last month. 3 of us did it while we were there. I highly recommend just taking it at the resort. Plus getting your cert. there helps the employees as well I think. I got married there at 11am and finished my diver certification at 3pm.

  17. #17

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    If you start at home and only do your 4 certification dives at Couples, you will likely pay a different fee than if you do the entire course at Couples. Contact them for the current price. You will have to pay extra for that. It's not included, as that is instruction/certification. This is known as a referral. After you are certified all your sunsequent dives will be free.
    Your course at home should be cheaper without the certification dives there. Overall you'll likely pay a bit more, but it's worth it to not have to spend time on vacation studying, doing quizzes and knowledge reviews and writing the exam. There's a lot of material to cover and it's important stuff. It shouldn't be rushed or skimmed over. Take the time to absorb it at home. Just my advice as a PADI OW instructor.
    Also, someone mentioned doing 2 dives. That's is the scuba diver course and not the open water course. Don't do that. It doesn't allow you to dive without supervision by a PADI pro. It's a kind of quicky course that some people might do say on a cruise when they don't have time. Do the full open water certification which includes 4 certification dives. It teaches you more skills to start out. Then when you're ready you can move on to an Advanced course which will allow you to dive deeper. Welcome to the world of diving

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